Crime and Security

We were ready to kill some students in bid to wipe out bandits – el-Rufai

We were ready to kill some students in bid to wipe out bandits – el-Rufai


Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has confessed that he was prepared to sacrifice the life of some of the students in order to eliminate all the bandits.

The governor made this known on Thursday saying when 29 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, were abducted, the plan was to attack and kill the bandits even if it meant some students dying in the process.

El-Rufai was also quoted as saying that Kaduna is currently at war and such would only be considered as collateral damage, a price he would be willing to pay instead of paying ransom.

According to the governor, before this could be done, the bandits hurriedly changed location which led to the students spending over a month in captivity.

He made these disclosures during a webinar organised by the Africa Leadership Group at an event tagged: ‘Developing a Viable Nation 2’ and hosted by Pastor of Trinity House Church, Ituah Ighodalo.

El-Rufai while responding to a question on his refusal to negotiate with bandits, the governor said; “Two days after the abduction of the Afaka young people, I was assured by the air force and the army that they knew where the kidnappers were with the students and they had encircled them.

“We were going to attack them. We would lose a few students but we would kill all the bandits and we would recover some of the students. That was our plan. That was the plan of the air force and the army… But they slipped through the cordon of the army. That is why they were not attacked.

“We know it is risky, we know in the process we may lose some of the abductees but it is a price we have to pay. This is war, there will always be collateral damage in war and we will rather do that than pay money because paying money has not solved the problem anywhere in the world.”

el-Rufai who admitted that he had “lost weight” over the insecurity in Kaduna State and was having sleepless nights, however, averred that insecurity in Kaduna was not as bad as Niger, Katsina and Zamfara but that the media only focused attention on his state because it fitted  into their narrative of ethnic clashes.

He alluded that in Katsina and Niger states, entire villages were sacked by bandits but nothing of such happened in Kaduna.

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